The Corps of Engineers is currently studying mitigation projects designed to allow for the migration of certain fish species to historical spawning grounds above the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. Changes to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam could greatly impact the pool created upriver by the Dam which our community significantly depends on. To read the comments submitted by the Chamber regarding this issue, click here. Link to letter.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS June 3! If you are interested in endorsing the comments of the Chamber’s letter, you can easily do so by completing the form provided here https://goo.gl/Rh6V8T.
To learn more about how to submit your own comments visit, http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/Portals/61/docs/regulatory/publicnotices/PN%20for%20SHEP%20NSBLD.pdf?ver=2017-04-04-105152-420
The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce has long advocated for the repair of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, a 74-year old structure that was originally built to facilitate commercial shipping between Augusta and Savannah's deep water port. The primary benefit today is the 13-mile long pool of raised, stable water that it creates which beautifies the downtown Augusta and North Augusta areas. The Lock and Dam keeps this area of the river raised 5 to 10 feet higher than normal, thus allowing for boating events and other water recreation. In addition to recreation and downtown beautification, the pool is critical to the continued operation of many local manufacturing facilities which use the water to run their facilities.
Maintenance on the dam ceased in 1979 and since then has deteriorated. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has repeatedly recommended demolishing the dam; however, the consequences of doing so would be costly to the CSRA region.
In 2000, Congress mandated that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repair the dam and turn it over to local governments to run and maintain in the future. However, no funds were provided to the Corps to rehab the dam and thus the project remains stagnate. During the project's stagnation, the estimated repair costs have risen from approximately $6.8 million in 2001 to an estimated $22 million in 2005.
To learn more about the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam project and the Chamber's stance, watch the video prepared by the Chamber and the cities of North Augusta and Augusta.
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